Magazine article The Alcoholism Report

Congress Approves Increases for Alcohol and Drug Problems

Magazine article The Alcoholism Report

Congress Approves Increases for Alcohol and Drug Problems

Article excerpt

Congress Approves Increases for Alcohol and Drug Programs

Congress passed and President Bush signed into law the FY-91 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations (HR-5257) carrying increases for the federal alcoholism and drug abuse efforts that were, for the most part, viewed as significant in light of the attention to deficit reduction that had overwhelmed Congress and the Administration in recent weeks. The conference report on the big money bill -- reconciling differences between House and Senate versions -- was passed as the final touches were being put on a five-year budget bill calling for cutting the deficit by nearly $500 million through spending decreases and revenue measures, including hikes in alcohol taxes.

The figures in the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations were brought in line with the allocations imposed by the budget process through a 2.41% reduction inflicted across the board after the conferees reached agreement on the initial amounts for the array of social and health programs funded in the bill. But despite the budget paring, the appropriation allows for increases in the alcohol, drug abuse and mental health services (ADMS) block grant and other OTI treatment programs over the levels of FY-90. At the same time, the Office for Substance Abuse Prevention (OSAP) and NIDA received substantial boosts from last year's appropriations. The Drug-Free Schools and Communities program of the Department of Education was accorded a significant increase. NIAAA received a small increment in its research budget.

ADAMHA Block, Other OTI Treatment Programs Increased

The Labor-HHS-Education appropriations provides $1,414,900,000 for ADAMHA Office for Treatment Improvement (OTI).

The final figures allocate $1,268,670,000 for the ADMS block -- an increase of $75.8 million over last year's appropriations. The House had voted the Administration's request of $1,292,775,000, while the Senate had approved $1,305,000,000. The conferees split the difference at $1.3 billion, and then cut it by 2.41%.

OTI's program of treatment grants to crisis areas received funding of $31,312,000, an increase over the $29,698,000 appropriated last year but slightly below President Bush's request of $32,085,000. The appropriations more than doubles last year's level for the treatment improvement grant program for a total of $83,507,000 -- the Administration's request minus 2. …

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